A major new centre at the heart of Ebbsfleet Garden City is to be created after a deal to buy land was completed.
Ebbsfleet Central will deliver a new commercial and residential centre within the Garden City providing jobs, homes, community and cultural facilities.
Since its inception in 2015, Ebbsfleet Development Corporation had the vision for a brand new dynamic centre with a commercial focus around Ebbsfleet International.
Whilst the land has been stalled to development up to now, the acquisition by Ebbsfleet Development Corporation of the 125 hectare (310 acres) site means that it can take control and unlock the site, in order to deliver the full potential for the Garden City.
The purchase of the land confirms the Government’s commitment to Ebbsfleet Garden City and the development in an area which is strategically located to road and rail networks including a European high-speed rail hub, 17 minutes from Central London and two hours from Paris.
Michael Cassidy CBE, chairman of the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation board said: “This is the most exciting project to happen in Ebbsfleet Garden City to date and we aim to create a centre that is vibrant and creates economic opportunities that will be enjoyed by people for years to come.
“We will now be talking to developers and investors to maximise the enormous potential Ebbsfleet Central will bring for all.”
The Corporation’s vision is for the area to become a magnet for new business, education, research and development as well as for leisure and recreation.
Ebbsfleet Central will be a dynamic urban centre with a commercial core supported by quality homes, community and cultural facilities, serving the whole Ebbsfleet Garden City area and beyond.
Housing Minister, Esther McVey, said: “Projects such as Ebbsfleet Central have a key role in making sure we deliver the homes this country needs while protecting the countryside. The development will make the most of brownfield land and make a big contribution to delivering 15,000 quality new homes for families within the garden city, at least 30% of which will be affordable.
“However, it is not enough just to build new houses, we need to ensure we build proud communities with a sense of place. That’s why developments such as this are so important, providing facilities and homes for families in a thriving new urban centre at the heart of the community.”
The corporation bought the land from EIGP which is a joint venture made up of Landsec and Ebbsfleet Property LLP.
Ian Piper, Chief Executive of Ebbsfleet Development Corporation said: “Investors will see enormous potential in what Ebbsfleet Central will bring, for the local economy and for local jobs.
“Although it has taken years to reach this point with the land untouched by development, Ebbsfleet Central will be the beating heart of Ebbsfleet Garden City and is an exciting opportunity for the new communities already formed here as well as the new ones that will be created.”
There are currently more than 1,700 homes in Ebbsfleet Garden City with an estimated 4,000 residents. Eventually up to 15,000 homes will be created.
It already has its first primary school in Castle Hill, a second is being built at Springhead Park and a third is in the pipeline for Ebbsfleet Green along with plans for a major secondary school at Whitecliffe.
The first supermarket has already opened with another being built in what will be the first village centre in Castle Hill. A new hotel and pub are also planned for the village centre in addition to the first pub and hotel that opened in 2017 in Ebbsfleet Green.
A new bridge built by the corporation which will link residents to Ebbsfleet International station will open in Spring of next year.